Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy Birthday, Waffle Child

Boy #1, A Long Time Ago
The many, many mistakes we made as parents of Boy#1 started even before he was born, when my blood pressure skyrocketed and we forced him to be born nearly a month before his due date. He was tiny (less than five pounds) purple and didn't look at all like the pink, chubby newborns I'd seen on television. We had taken parenting classes and read books, but Husband and I still felt completely unprepared for the monumental job of being parents that stretched out ahead of us. I was more than half serious when I asked the doctor if he was sure we should take One home.

In spite of my inability to provide womb service until his due date, One passed all of the newborn tests and left the hospital on the normal less-than-48-hours-from-birth schedule. 

Then when One was two weeks old, we left the house for the first time that didn't involve a doctor visit, and I enjoyed a Fourth of July feast at Grandy's. Chicken, baked beans, cole slaw. You veteran mothers are gasping--I was subjecting his immature digestive system to what? 

This mistake he wasn't quite as ready to gloss over. For the next six weeks Husband and I took turns holding One day and night. Any slacking of attention or attempt to put One down provoked screams that would bloody a rock star's eardrums. I learned my lesson: After that experience and for as long as the two of us were sharing the food I put in my mouth, I kept my diet bland and nutritious.

I won't go into more of the countless blunders Husband and I made as we learned how to be parents. We often over-protected and over-pushed, often didn't allow enough slack or give enough credit. But we loved this kid fiercely, completely. I was a hippie-dippie pacifist (a Peace Corps volunteer, for crying out loud) and I distinctly remember looking into six-week-old One's sleeping face and thinking, "If someone tried to take him from me, I could kill that person."

And in spite of the blunders, One grew up to be smart and cool and funny and good-looking, a quirky kid who writes postcards to his grandparents from everywhere he visits or lives. He laughs at my jokes and makes me prouder than he knows.

When I was a kid I thought the best, most wonderful thing a girl could grow up to be was a mother. Twenty-five years ago today, and every day since, One has reminded me I was right.

The title of this post comes from the old saying that children are like waffles, and the first one should be thrown out. Nonsense.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Sara.

    Carol L. (csl)